Addressing healthcare manpower crisis holistically

The Health Ministry is looking at holistic approach to overcome the healthcare manpower crisis since Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and his ministry considers healthcare workers its most invaluable asset.

“Keeping this in mind, the Health Ministry is earnestly revisiting longstanding practices, such as the excessively long on-call hours.

“Healthcare workers, our most invaluable assets, deserve our comprehensive support.

“Countries globally are similarly grappling with these dire healthcare challenges and are acutely observed in the recent World Health Assembly. Philippines, once the global exporter of nurses is currently suffering from a shortage of 127,000 nurses,” he said in a statement today.

No quick fix

He acknowledged health news website Code Blue highlighting the issue at hand.

However there is no quick fix to this crisis.

“The Health Ministry has undertaken a multifaceted approach to mitigate these challenges including:

(i) Optimising patient distribution through hospital clustering,

(ii) Exploring public-private partnerships for outsourcing services,

(iii) Mobilising staff to high-demand departments,

(iv) Extending operating hours at health clinics to alleviate strain on hospitals, and

(v) Identifying workforce gaps through an ongoing ‘supply and demand’ survey locally, in collaboration with the World Bank.”

He also said financial constraints are a major impediment in continuing the contract doctor scheme that kicked off in 2016.

“Addressing these constraints will necessitate critical reforms plus financing strategy to build a sustainable and resilient healthcare system. We are now undertaking these reforms seriously.

“To our dedicated healthcare professionals, we implore for your patience as we navigate this critical transformative journey. Your understanding and continued contributions are deeply valued as we strive for positive change,” he added.

READ ALSO: EC: No election petition against Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election results